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Australia’s tourism body has figured that if the real life numbers aren’t that great, it could at least try and create the loudest buzz in social media, hoping to translate into better tourism business numbers.
And it certainly has been among the savviest country tourism boards in social media, even if its tourism campaigns in TV/video/print over last few years have been lackluster and generic at best.
All through 2012 it kept on touting its Facebook page and how it had the largest numbers of likes among all tourism board pages worldwide (above 4 million by December), and now for 2013, it is on a mission of “making Australia the world’s most talked about holiday destination in social media.”
Not sure how you put a hard metric on it, since there are so many variables to it, but TA thinks the greater the buzz, the greater the chances of people first dreaming about going to Australia, influenced by what they see in their social media circles. And if they end up going to Australia, greater social buzz means they will share all their travel memories/media and lead to a virtuous cycle with friends and others they influence.
To that end, it is taking all-boats-rising approach in building up buzz: it is sharing its approach to social media by publishing some guidelines it believes the near one million people directly and indirectly working within Australian tourism can use to promote their business. TA has put its fans front and center in social media, and it is now asking all the travel businesses in Australia to do the same when they’re using social media:
- The steps to Tourism Australia’s success in social media include creating social media platforms for fans and also allowing them to be the ‘hero’.
- Tourism operators are also advised to always be on the look out for ‘big waves’ and small waves’ – choosing the right social media opportunities to surf. Tourism Australia says a relatively easy small wave to ride is simply publishing your fans photos, something it does itself every week through its ‘Friday Fan Photos’ page.
- Operators are also advised not just to tell stories, but instead give people compelling stories that they can tell themselves and, importantly, share with their own social networks.
And this thinking will surely be very familiar to savvy marketers in social age: “In tourism promotion, compelling content is king. Our job at Tourism Australia is as creator, co-creator, curator and syndicator of this content. The more operators willing and able to become part of our social media team, to share their great tourism experiences and demonstrate Australia as an aspiring travel destination, the better.”
The detailed presentation below, with good insights for tourism and destination marketers and strategists everywhere: